Isle of Man races
There are several classic ultra races held in the Isle of Man
The Parish Walk attracts walkers from all over the UK and further afield - many Dutch and Belgian walkers, including Centurions participate. It is the largest mass participation race in the Isle of Man.
The End to End is another mass participation race but it is a shorter race than the Parish with strict time limits. The 2021 race will be held on Sunday, 19 September. Entries opened up 1st April 2021. The race is organised bu the Isle of Man Veterans Club.
Both races have the option of a shorter race: from the start point and finishing in Peel
This 85 mile race visits each of the 17 parish churches on the island and the competitors must touch the church gate where check points are held (chi[ timing). The electronic timing used enables the results websiste to be constantly updated. The race is sponsored by Manx Telecom and organised by Manx Harriers. The start is on the track at National Sports Centre in Douglas and finishes on the promenade in Douglas.
This race has been in existence since 1852 but was not how we know it now; the race history is well documented on the Parish Walk Website and in Dermot O'Toole's excellent book "Ultimate Challenge".
The Parish Walk is classified as a Category B Race under RWA rules and therefore Rule 230 is interpreted accordingly.
As the race is held on open roads, the rules are quite tough but necessary. Each competitor should have a support car,
There are generous cut off time limits by which competitors must reach each church checkpoint. If a walker arrives at a checkpoint after these cut off times, they will be retired from the race. The overall time limit is 24 hours. It is a tough course, but the support in the towns and villages if quite brilliant.
- Male record holder - Richard Gerrard - 2015 - 14:40:08
- Ladies record holder - Karen Chiarello - 2017 - 15:53:54
2021 Parish Walk
The organisers fully expect the 2021 Parish Walk to go ahead as planned on June 19th.
It is currently unknown if the island's borders will be open at that time allowing off-island competitors to travel here and take part. The committee has therefore taken the decision that all off-island competitors who cannot travel to the island due to border restrictions will automatically have their entry rolled over to the 2022 event.
visit the Parish Walk website for more information, list of participants, previous results and much more.
Isle of Man classic races
The Ramsey Bakery End to End
The Ramsey Baker End to End Walk is held annually in September, starting from the Point of Ayre to the Sound, hugging the west coast and travelling from the northern tip to the sourthern tip of the Isle of Man. It is one of a number of huge participation events held on the island each year with race walkers from other parts of the United Kingdom and Europe. British Centurions always feature in the top 20 finishers.
The race is 39.22 miles with cut off times at check points along the course. The End 2 End Walk is held under permit issued by the Race Walking Association as a Category B Event.
The original race, starting in 1961 until 2001 twas 39.5 miles.
Trophies are presented to all age groups and team prizes for the first men’s, ladies and mixed team who complete the furthest combined distance in the fastest time. Certificates will be given to all competitors who attend.
The 2020 race was quite different, as participation was a local affair, given covid travel restrictions.
Nevertheless, it had a field of 215 walkers with 139 of the walkers finishing the full distance within the 10 hour limit.
Centurion Richard Gerrard continued his recent domination of the event with his seventh consecutive victory. Gerrard finished the 39.22-mile route in 6:37:18, slightly faster than his 2019 winning time of 6:38:10 and not far from his 2014 PB of 6:29:23. Close on his heels for most of the race was two-time Parish Walk winner Liam Parker who was making his debut in the 2020 event and it was only towards the end that Richard was able to break free, eventually winning by just over 3 minutes. It was an impressive debut for Liam.
below are a few photos from the Parish and End to End races
More phiotos on both websites